Tag Archives: parenting

Sock puppets

I got the bright idea into my head the other day to make sock puppets with the kids. Considering that today was a rainy day, it provided me with the perfect opportunity to make them. Besides, I knew there was a special reason for keeping those odd socks.

The kids were very excited and intrigued when I told them that I had a button box. They loved sifting through the various types of buttons and choosing which ones to use as eyes and noses for their puppet. I roped Peter into making a puppet too. The table was littered with buttons, thread, felt and other bits and bobs.

After much finger pricking, and misplaced buttons, my little fellah, Mr Snufflepig, came to life.

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I had great fun playing with him and the girls. They were totally convinced that Mr Snufflepig was real and carried out conversations with him and gave him kisses and cuddles. It makes me appreciate what a genius Jim Henson was.

In the meantime, Peter was still sitting at the table, tongue stuck out in concentration, creating his little protege,
Mr Ruffdog

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I did make the children laugh but I will never be as good as Kevin Clash, what a legend!

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The sloth and the snail.

Today started off at 5.20 am with Olwyn crying to get up due to those troublesome canines bothering her. They have bothered her now for near on three months and they are still a no-show! Poor thing. Olwyn goes around with her fingers permanently stuck in her mouth and leaves puddles of saliva in her trail. Anyway, I settled Olwyn and put her back to bed at 6am. I hopped back into bed and fell  into my slumber only to be woken by the bright-eyed Seren sitting beside me at 6.20 am, proudly announcing “I had a really nice dream! It was about lions!”.

Needless to say,  my good intentions in writing my research paper today were not fulfilled. There was a major dose of fatigue today! It is seven weeks until I give my first “professional” paper. The attendance to the week-long conference is in excess of 500 people. Gulp! No pressure. However, I was no closer to a finished product today than I was a week ago. The thoughts of sitting down and poring over books seemed torturous. I had to give a tutorial in the early afternoon though so I had no choice but to go into the office.

To add to that, it was actually a beautiful sunny day and all I wanted to do was stay home with the family and enjoy the garden. I called it quits after the tutorial and headed home. Alas, the sun was now hiding (Murphy’s Law) but we still got to enjoy the garden. Seren and Olwyn found a little snail and were intrigued at this little creature, who carried his house on his back. We sat on the bench in the reappearing sun for about ten minutes marvelling over the snail, touching his tentacles, watching him crawl. It was the moment of the day! I am so happy to have witnessed this.

Meet Sammy the Snail

Sammy snail is never worried

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Filed under Family, Motherhood, research

the first strawberries picked by little hands.

For the past few months, the girls have been casting their eyes with eager anticipation at the strawberries growing in the garden. It was great to see their excitement growing with the changing colours of the fruit. It was Seren and Olwyn’s job to scare away any magpies who swooped down to feast on the strawberries. So every once in a while you would hear fierce knocking at the window ” Shoo magpie, those are our stwawbewwies!” The strawberries were lovingly watered and minded. I got so much enjoyment watching my children learn about the things we have growing in the garden.

Here are photographs of the momentous occasion!

Daddy lends a helping hand.

A joyous moment!

Following in her big sister's footsteps.

Seren and Olwyn on their favourite seat (beside the strawberries naturally).

Sumptuous strawberry.

Look Mami, I'm going to make it disappear :)

The poet William Allen Butler sums the strawberry up the best when he wrote “Doubtless God could have made a better berry (than the strawberry), but doubtless God never did.”

 

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Filed under Family, food, Motherhood

Velvety sin.

I made this for dessert for our Easter Sunday feast. Yes, it has taken me a month and a half to post it, but better late than never! It was to die for. The chocolate was so rich.  I used O’Connaill’s organic chocolate, which is made in Co. Cork. The smell of the chocolate alone was enough to send me into a cocoa coma.

The chocolate really acted as a launch pad for the floral-citrus flavours of the cardamom. This spice changed the mousse into a luxury, which was sinfully delicious. I loved crushing the cardamom pods in the mortar, releasing the smell throughout the kitchen. The kids loved sticking their noses in to experience this new smell.

I poured the mousse into little Moroccan tea glasses. It was great because I could prepare it and put them in the fridge the day before. This saved on time the next day amidst the frenzy of cooking three other courses.

Chocolate & cardamom mousse, amaretti and coffee

Chocolate & Cardamom Mousse

2oog good-quality dark chocolate (minimum 70% cocoa solids)

100ml single cream

4 eggs, separated

1 teaspoon caster sugar

half teaspoon cardamom seeds

(this serves 4 people)

Method

Break the chocolate into a glass bowel suspended over a saucepan of simmering water. Stir often to make sure that no lumps form.

Ready for action!

Remove from the heat and stir in the cream, egg yolks, sugar and cardamom seeds.

In a clean bowl, whisk the egg whites until they form stiff peaks.

Fold the whisked eggs into the chocolate mixture.

Fold in gently to allow air into the mixture

Pour the chocolate mixture into individual glasses and place in the fridge for 1 hour or until set.

Pour into cups or glasses, even espresso cups will do

This recipe is taken from Homemade: Irresistible recipes for every occasion by Clodagh McKenna, 2010

Of course this would not have achieved without the help of my two trusty tasters helpers.

Olwyn's gobstopper

Seren's chocolate beard

Then it was seriously a case of death by chocolate…

I don't need instructions on how to eat this!

See! I am an expert at it.

I think Babi and Olwyn approve.

And the award for the biggest chocaholic goes to...

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Filed under food, Recipes

Letting go…

When I was pregnant I did not realise that I would go through a process of missing my bump once the baby was born. Well, I did. Even though I had a beautiful child in my arms, I missed the presence of my bump. Little did I realise that this was the beginning of many steps throughout life, separating from my precious baby. A continuous weaning of sorts until she reaches womanhood.

Looking into the future

Tonight is the first night that my child is spending away from our home. Seren is staying with her grannies’ (yes, that is plural and that story has enough material for ten blogs!) and her excitement at her impending first sleep over was a joy to experience. She is three years and three months now. Seren had her bag packed yesterday, toothbrush and toothpaste and all, including ten random books. Some motherly intervention led to a more sensible bag being packed. 

Seren’s grannies were as just excited and off I sent them in the car like giddy school kids. Seren is going to have so much fun and freedom in their house. What child wouldn’t like to stay in an artist’s country retreat, surrounded by an oak wood, wild stream, acres of meadows, and an enchanted castle next door.

Still, the house is so quiet now without her smiley face. It makes me think of what other moments in her life I will have to let go… the first day she goes to school; the first night she stays at a friend’s house; when she goes on school trips and the day she finally says she is moving out and starting her own life.

The act of letting go for me as a parent is not just associated with physical acts of separation, but also with allowing the development of oneself as a person. I, as a mother, am going to have to cope and deal with Seren growing up and forming her own ideals and opinions. I know that coming from a different generation I will probably not always agree with what these opinions will be but that I will have to accept and respect them.

Anyway, Seren’s little sister Olwyn misses her big sister. Every now and then we hear “where’s Sewen?”. Although Seren and Olwyn share the usual quibble found between siblings of that age, normally concerning who gets to play with Anna the doll, they are like peas in a pod. Olwyn misses Seren but at the same time she is relishing the undivided attention of her mother and father. I can only hope that we teach our daughters to always love and appreciate each other and help build a strong foundation in their relationship.

Say cheese! Our attempt of taking a photograph of two toddlers while smiling.

What steps of separation have you gone through with your children growing up? How have you coped as a parent in the act of letting go?

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